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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Sponsors: Reps. Talley, G.M. Smith and Clemmons
Document Path: l:\council\bills\gjk\20120cm03.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 172
Introduced in the House on January 28, 2003
Currently residing in the House Committee on Judiciary
Summary: Driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1/28/2003 House Introduced and read first time HJ-30 1/28/2003 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-31 2/4/2003 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Clemmons
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-2933, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO DRIVING WITH AN UNLAWFUL ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION, SO AS TO REVISE THE ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION LEVEL WHICH IS ILLEGAL; TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-2950, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO A MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVER'S IMPLIED CONSENT TO CHEMICAL TESTS OF HIS BREATH, BLOOD, OR URINE FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE PRESENCE OF ALCOHOL, DRUGS, OR A COMBINATION OF BOTH IN HIS SYSTEM, SO AS TO REVISE THE ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION LEVEL THAT MUST BE USED DURING THE BREATH SIMULATOR TEST AND THE ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION LEVEL THAT RAISES THE INFERENCE THAT A PERSON IS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND IS OPERATING A VEHICLE WITH AN ILLEGAL ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION; AND TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-2951, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE SUSPENSION OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR A DRIVER'S REFUSAL TO SUBMIT TO TESTING TO DETERMINE HIS ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION OR FOR REGISTERING A CERTAIN LEVEL OF ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION, SO AS TO REVISE THE ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION LEVEL THAT REQUIRES A PERSON TO ENROLL IN AN ALCOHOL AND DRUG SAFETY ACTION PROGRAM.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 56-5-2933 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 390 of 2000, is amended to read:
"Section 56-5-2933. It is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle within this State while his alcohol concentration is
ten eight one-hundredths of one percent or more. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of the offense of Driving With An Unlawful Alcohol Concentration. A person may be charged for a violation of Section 56-5-2930 but prosecuted pursuant to this section if the original testing of the person's breath or collection of other bodily fluids was performed within two hours of the time of arrest and probable cause existed to justify the traffic stop. This section shall not apply to cases arising out of a stop at a traffic road block roadblock or driver's license check point checkpoint. A person cannot be prosecuted for both a violation of Section 56-5-2930 and a violation of this section for the same incident. A person who violates the provisions of this section is entitled to a jury trial and is afforded the right to challenge certain factors including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) whether or not the person was lawfully arrested or detained;
(2) whether or not probable cause existed to justify the stop;
(3) the period of time between arrest and testing;
(4) whether or not the person was advised in writing of the rights enumerated in Section 56-5-2950;
(5) whether the person consented to taking a test pursuant to Section 56-5-2950, and the:
(a) reported alcohol concentration at the time of testing was
ten eight one- hundredths of one percent or more;
(b) individual who administered the test or took samples was qualified pursuant to Section 56-5-2950;
(c) tests administered and samples obtained were conducted pursuant to Section 56-5-2950 and regulations adopted pursuant to Section 56-5-2951(Q) and Section 56-5-2953(F); and
(d) machine was working properly.
Nothing contained in this section prohibits the introduction of:
(1) the results of any additional tests of the person's breath or other bodily fluids;
(2) any evidence that may corroborate or question the validity of the breath or bodily fluid test result including, but not limited to:
(a) evidence of field sobriety tests;
(b) evidence of the amount of alcohol consumed by the person; and
(c) evidence of the person's driving;
(3) a videotape of the person's conduct at the incident site and breath testing site taken pursuant to Section 56-5-2953 which is subject to redaction under the South Carolina Rules of Evidence; or
(4) any other evidence of the state of a person's faculties to drive which would call into question the results of a breath or bodily fluid test.
At trial, a person charged with a violation of this section is entitled to a jury instruction stating that the factors enumerated above and the totality of the evidence produced at trial may be used by the jury to determine guilt or innocence."
SECTION 2. Section 56-5-2950 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 390 of 2000, is further amended to read:
"Section 56-5-2950. (a) A person who drives a motor vehicle in this State is considered to have given consent to chemical tests of his breath, blood, or urine for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol or drugs or the combination of alcohol and drugs if arrested for an offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while the person was driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of them. A breath test must be administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer who has arrested a person for driving a motor vehicle in this State while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of them. At the direction of the arresting officer, the person first must be offered a breath test to determine the person's alcohol concentration. If the person is physically unable to provide an acceptable breath sample because he has an injured mouth or is unconscious or dead, or for any other reason considered acceptable by the licensed medical personnel, the arresting officer may request a blood sample to be taken. If the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, the officer may order that a urine sample be taken for testing. If the alcohol concentration is
ten eight one-hundredths of one percent or above, the officer may not require additional tests of the person as provided in this chapter. The breath test must be administered by a person trained and certified by the department, pursuant to SLED policies. The arresting officer may administer the tests if the person's conduct during the twenty-minute pre-test waiting period is videotaped pursuant to Section 56-5-2953(A)(2)(d). Before the breath test is administered, a ten eight one-hundredths of one percent simulator test must be performed and the result must reflect a reading between 0.095 0.075 percent and 0.105 0.085 percent. Blood and urine samples must be obtained by physicians licensed by the State Board of Medical Examiners, registered nurses licensed by the State Board of Nursing, and other medical personnel trained to obtain the samples in a licensed medical facility. Blood and urine samples must be obtained and handled in accordance with procedures approved by SLED.
No tests may be administered or samples obtained unless the person has been informed in writing that:
(1) he does not have to take the test or give the samples but that his privilege to drive must be suspended or denied for at least ninety days if he refuses to submit to the tests and that his refusal may be used against him in court;
(2) his privilege to drive must be suspended for at least thirty days if he takes the tests or gives the samples and has an alcohol concentration of fifteen one-hundredths of one percent or more;
(3) he has the right to have a qualified person of his own choosing conduct additional independent tests at his expense;
(4) he has the right to request an administrative hearing within thirty days of the issuance of the notice of suspension; and
(5) he must enroll in an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program within thirty days of the issuance of the notice of suspension.
A hospital, physician, qualified technician, chemist, or registered nurse who obtains the samples or conducts the test or participates in the process of obtaining the samples or conducting the test in accordance with this section is not subject to a cause of action for assault, battery, or another cause contending that the drawing of blood or taking samples at the request of the arrested person or a law enforcement officer was wrongful. This release from liability does not reduce the standard of medical care required of the person obtaining the samples or conducting the test. This qualified release also applies to the employer of the person who conducts the test or obtains the samples.
The person tested or giving samples for testing may have a qualified person of his own choosing conduct additional tests at his expense and must be notified in writing of that right. A person's request or failure to request additional blood or urine tests is not admissible against the person in the criminal trial. The failure or inability of the person tested to obtain additional tests does not preclude the admission of evidence relating to the tests or samples obtained at the direction of the law enforcement officer.
The arresting officer must provide affirmative assistance to the person to contact a qualified person to conduct and obtain additional tests. Affirmative assistance, at a minimum, includes providing transportation for the person to the nearest medical facility which provides blood tests to determine a person's alcohol concentration. If the medical facility obtains the blood sample but refuses or fails to test the blood sample to determine the person's alcohol concentration, SLED must test the blood sample and provide the result to the person and to the arresting officer. Failure to provide affirmative assistance upon request to obtain additional tests bars the admissibility of the breath test result in any judicial or administrative proceeding.
SLED shall administer the provisions of this subsection and shall make regulations necessary to carry out its provisions. The costs of the tests administered at the direction of the law enforcement officer must be paid from the general fund of the State.
A qualified person who obtains samples or administers the tests or assists in obtaining samples or the administration of tests at the direction of a law enforcement officer is released from civil and criminal liability unless the obtaining of samples or tests is performed in a negligent, reckless, or fraudulent manner. No person may be required by the arresting officer, or by another law enforcement officer, to obtain or take any sample of blood or urine.
(b) In the criminal prosecution for a violation of Section 56-5-2930, 56-5-2933, or 56-5-2945 relating to driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of them, the alcohol concentration at the time of the test, as shown by chemical analysis of the person's breath or other body fluids, gives rise to the following:
(1) If the alcohol concentration was at that time five one-hundredths of one percent or less, it is conclusively presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcohol.
(2) If the alcohol concentration was at that time in excess of five one- hundredths of one percent but less than
ten eight one-hundredths of one percent, that fact does not give rise to any inference that the person was or was not under the influence of alcohol, but that fact may be considered with other evidence in determining the guilt or innocence of the person.
(3) If the alcohol concentration was at that time
ten eight one-hundredths of one percent or more, it may be inferred that the person was under the influence of alcohol.
(4) If the alcohol concentration was at that time
ten eight one-hundredths of one percent or more and the original testing of the person's breath or collection of other bodily fluids was performed within two hours of the time of arrest, the person has violated Section 56-5-2933.
The provisions of this section must not be construed as limiting the introduction of any other evidence bearing upon the question of whether or not the person was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of them.
(c) A person who is unconscious or otherwise in a condition rendering him incapable of refusal is considered to be informed and not to have withdrawn the consent provided by subsection (a) of this section.
(d) A person required to submit to tests by the arresting law enforcement officer must be provided with a written report including the time of arrest, the time of the tests, and the results of the tests before any trial or other proceeding in which the results of the tests are used as evidence. A person who obtains additional tests must furnish a copy of the time, method, and results of any test to the officer before any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in which the person attempts to use the results of the additional tests as evidence."
SECTION 3. Section 56-5-2951(B) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 390 of 2000, is further amended to read:
"(B) If the test registers an alcohol concentration of
ten eight one-hundredths of one percent or more, the person, within thirty days of the issuance of the notice of suspension, must enroll in an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program pursuant to Section 56-5-2990."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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